Advisory boards are common throughout the business community; have been forever. Professional sports franchises are no different: even my beloved Hartford Whalers cobbled together a generally all-star group of personalities and civic leaders around 1990 willing to lob suggestions on a variety of issues to then-owner Richard Gordon. Not sure how much input Gordon utilized from his round-table featuring such luminaries as Gordie Howe, Bobby Orr, Ivan Lendl, Roger Staubach, and Jim Calhoun - among others - but just to clarify: where's the Mighty Whale hosting home games these days?
This example, though true, is obviously employed in good fun, but back to Sunrise. The Florida Panthers have announced the formation of a "Blueprint Advisory Board" to, well, let's go directly to the press release, hawking the reasonable words of GM Dale Talon:
"I personally find it helpful to interact with our constituents in an environment that is conducive to making an honest appraisal of our franchise – where we are, where we’re headed, and how we are going to get there."
We're assuming there is a clause written somewhere preventing the "12 members of this exclusive board", whose names "will be released to the public on March 9", from dialing up Jay Feaster to inquire about the availability of Olli Jokinen in July.
So no names yet, but from where have these dozen trailblazers been culled? They were "chosen based on their diverse personal and professional backgrounds, knowledge of the Panthers franchise and the sports and entertainment industry in general, and ability to effectively communicate their ideas and opinions about improving the Panthers team and it’s brand as a whole."
We already know one of the board members to be Saveology.com's Reid Shapiro, thanks to a Tweet earlier this week from president Michael Yormark, so at least one major advertising sponsor of the club is involved. No surprise, this was expected. But red flags are going to explode up the pole if a majority of the Illustrious Twelve turn out to be regular check-writers.
On the surface the reasoning for such a group is sound: more communication is always a plus, and this organization could definitely stand a few more movers and shakers with fresh ideas and educated opinions. We'll reserve judgement until the 9th.